Monday, April 12, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 4/12/2010

Forecast Overview

W-NW stormswell/windswell peaks on Tuesday morning and fades quick through the early part of the week. A new S-SSW swell arrives Tuesday afternoon and peaks on Wednesday. Conditions, both wind and weather, improve through midweek. More Southern Hemi energy is lining up in the long-range part of the forecast and even a chance for more wet/windy weather (for late next weekend…go away stupid rain!).

Short Range (next 4 days)

Tuesday – (W-NW swell fades while new S-SSW swell fills in)
Mix of swells in the water on Tuesday…the lumpy W-NW leftovers (270-300) from the passing storm will be dropping off while a new S-SSW swell (180-200) moves in on the remnants of the weekend’s Southern Hemi energy. Average spots, both S and W facing will be in the waist-chest high range with some inconsistent shoulder high sets on the lower tides. The standout NW facing breaks (mostly San Diego) will have some head high+ sets through the morning…and the standout S facing breaks (mostly Orange County) will have a few head high+ late in the day (the swell fills in more overnight). Winds/Weather: Conditions look cleaner (than Monday) but may still have a touch of the funk…water quality will be questionable for sure. Look for light/variable to variable onshore winds for the morning...looks like the winds will be below 5-8 knots for most areas but watch out for texture at the more open beaches. Best bet would be to stick with spots that have some wind protection.

Wednesday – (S-SSW swell peaks, NW energy backs way off)
The S-SSW swell (180-200) will peak on Wednesday while the W-NW energy drops into the background. Look for the average exposed breaks to hold around the waist-chest high range with a few bigger waves at the better S facing beaches and combo breaks. The standout S facing breaks and best combo breaks will have shoulder-head high sets with a few occasional overhead sets mixing in on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Wednesday morning looks pretty clean…mostly light and variable to light offshore for most areas. Expect onshore W-NW winds around 10-15+ knots for the afternoon.

Thursday – (S-SSW starts to wind down )
The surf will become smaller and less consistent on Thursday as the S-SSW swell (180-190) drops off. There will be a bit of NW energy in the background but it will be mostly steeply angled windswell and some weak WNW-NW energy from storms that hung around the edges of our swell window. Most spots will be in the knee-waist high range with a few waist high+ sets still creeping in on the lower tides. The average S facing spots will be in the chest high range with some inconsistent shoulder high sets. The standout S facing breaks, mostly in Orange County, will have some shoulder-head high sets. Winds/Weather: Look for mostly light winds in the morning…maybe a touch of weak eddy circulation so look out for some onshore texture at the really wide open beaches. W-NW winds 10-15+ knots spin up through the afternoon.

Friday – (Overlapping Southern Hemi swells with a touch of windswell)
There will be a new SSW-SW swell (190-210) filling in on Friday while the first S-swell (175-190) fades out. Not a lot of chance to the surf size but the slightly more southwesterly swell angle may shift the “top spots” around a little bit. NW windswell will be on the rise in the background but it will continue to be pretty NW (290+) and won’t make much of an appearance at most breaks. Winds/Weather: Light and variable for the morning…maybe a touch of westerly texture for the Northern Counties. Look for building W winds around 10-15+ knots for the afternoon.


North Pacific
The NPAC continues to quiet down…but keep just enough energy moving around to push a cold front (and some rain) our direction. At this point the only true swell we have in the forecast is the stormy mix of W-NW that will peak Monday night and then fade out fast by Tuesday afternoon...from then on it looks like mostly local NW windswell at least through the end of the week.

Further out the GFS weather model is calling for another weird little storm to spin up around the mid-latitudes between Hawaii and Southern California…the weather model is notoriously sketchy on weather forming in this region…so I am not sure what to make of it. Check it out on the charts…

If this little guy forms, and intensifies over the weekend, like the current forecast suggests it will then we could see another round of sloppy W-WNW windswell as well as some more wind/rain. This is a ways out on the charts so we will have to wait and see how things form up.

South Pacific
The SPAC is still nice and active…with a couple of swells already heading our way…and a pretty solid looking storm (not that well positioned for Socal…yet) that is forecast to form out on the end of the charts.

New S-SSW swell (180-200) starts moving on Tuesday and eventually peaks overnight into Wednesday with some chest-shoulder high surf for the average spots and some head high+ sets at a few of the top breaks. This S-SSW swell slowly fades out through the end of the week.

Another shot of waist-shoulder high SSW-SW swell (190-210) starts filling in on Friday and the peaking on Saturday (April 16-17). This will be followed by another similar sized, waist-chest high+ SW’er that is a touch more southwesterly (200-220) that would arrive on Monday April 19.

Super long-range is showing a pretty big red blob on the charts…

This is being set up by what is forecast to be a pretty nasty looking storm that is going to hit Southern New Zealand later this weekend.

If this lives up to forecasts this storm will likely set up some strong SW swell for Fiji (before it hits NZ) and Tahiti (after it moves into the open SPAC)…and if things hold together it should send some energy to Socal too. We would actually see a smaller pulse from a storm just in front of this big one…that would arrive around the 25th…and then the bigger SW swell around the 27-28th. I am not as fired up on this swell for Socal (as I am for the two destination spots)…since it will pass through that SPAC island shadow...but still it is nice to see such a nice big red meatball on the charts.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, April 15th, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i like meatballs too